The 35th Independent Spirit Awards - Full Winners List

A big night for female directors and indie studio A24, as The Farewell took the top prize, Adam Sandler got his Oscars revenge. Read on for the full list.

Matt Lissauer

By Matt Lissauer

2020 spirit awards winners

The underdogs got their well-deserved due at the 35th Independent Spirit Awards. Female directors who were largely ignored by the bigger awards shows, the Golden Globes and the Oscars, finally got some recognition.

Lulu Wang's "The Farewell" won the top prize, Best Feature, while Olivia Wilde took home Best First Feature for "Booksmart" and Julia Reichert nabbed Best Documentary for "American Factory" with co-director Steven Bognar.

These wins were teased well, as returning host Aubrey Plaza joked in her opening monologue, that the Spirit Awards are, "so much cooler than other awards shows: It's daytime, we're on the beach, and we recognize female directors."

© A24 / courtesy Everett Collection

© A24 / courtesy Everett Collection

As "Uncut Gems" took home the most prizes for a film, with three wins, that film's distributor A24 posted the most wins for a studio, with seven.

Along with Best Feature, A24's films also got Best Male Lead (Adam Sandler - "Uncut Gems"), Best Supporting Male (Willem Dafoe - "The Lighthouse"), Best Supporting Female (Zhao Shuzhen - "The Farewell"), Best Director (Josh & Benny Safdie - "Uncut Gems"), Best Cinematography (Jarin Blaschke - "The Lighthouse") and Best Editing (Benny Safdie and Ronald Bronstein - "Uncut Gems"). Other wins include Neon's "Parasite" for Best International Film and Renee Zellweger, who won Best Female Lead for "Judy."

© A24 / courtesy Everett Collection

© A24 / courtesy Everett Collection

Adam Sandler and Zhao Shuzhen, who were both criminally overlooked by Academy Awards voters for their respective performances in "Uncut Gems" and "The Farewell," got their rightful wins for Best Male and Best Supporting Female. In his acceptance speech, Sandler, compared his Oscar snub to a similar snub in his high school yearbook, explaining that while he didn't win the highest honor of "Best Looking," he was honored "with the admittedly less prestigious Best Personality award . . . As I look around this room, I realize the Independent Spirit Awards are the best personality awards of Hollywood."

Check out the full winners below.

Best Feature
  • A Hidden Life
  • Clemency
  • The Farewell < WINNER
  • Marriage Story
  • Uncut Gems
Best First Feature
  • Booksmart < WINNER
  • The Climb
  • Diane
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • The Mustang
  • See You Yesterday
John Cassavetes Award
  • Burning Cane
  • Colewell
  • Give Me Liberty < WINNER
  • Premature
  • Wild Nights With Emily
Best Director
  • Alma Har'el - Honey Boy
  • Lorene Scafaria - Hustlers
  • Julius Onah - Luce
  • Robert Eggers - The Lighthouse
  • Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie - Uncut Gems < WINNER
Best Screenplay
  • Noah Baumbach - Marriage Story < WINNER
  • Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder - To Dust
  • Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie - Uncut Gems
  • Chinonye Chukwu - Clemency
  • Tarell Alvin McCraney - High Flying Bird
Best First Screenplay
  • Fredrica Bailey & Stefon Bristol - See You Yesterday < WINNER
  • Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen - Driveways
  • Bridget Savage Cole & Danielle Krudy - Blow the Man Down
  • Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe - Greener Grass
  • James Montague & Craig W. Sanger - The Vast of Night
Best Cinematography
  • Todd Banhazl - Hustlers
  • Jarin Blaschke - The Lighthouse < WINNER
  • Natasha Braier - Honey Boy
  • Chananun Chotrungroj - The Third Wife
  • Pawel Pogorzelski - Midsommar
Best Editing
  • Julie Béziau - The Third Wife
  • Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie - Uncut Gems < WINNER
  • Tyler L. Cook - Sword of Trust
  • Louise Ford - The Lighthouse
  • Kirill Mikhanovsky - Give Me Liberty
Best Female Lead
  • Karen Allen - Colewell
  • Hong Chau - Driveways
  • Elisabeth Moss - Her Smell
  • Mary Kay Place - Diane
  • Alfre Woodard - Clemency
  • Renée Zellweger - Judy < WINNER
Best Male Lead
  • Chris Galust - Give Me Liberty
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr. - Luce
  • Robert Pattinson - The Lighthouse
  • Matthias Schoenaerts - The Mustang
  • Adam Sandler - Uncut Gems < WINNER
Best Supporting Female
  • Jennifer Lopez - Hustlers
  • Taylor Russell - Waves
  • Lauren "LoLo" Spencer - Give Me Liberty
  • Octavia Spencer - Luce
  • Zhao Shuzhen - The Farewell < WINNER
Best Supporting Male
  • Willem Dafoe - The Lighthouse < WINNER
  • Noah Jupe - Honey Boy
  • Shia LaBeouf - Honey Boy
  • Jonathan Majors - The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • Wendell Pierce - Burning Cane
Robert Altman Award

Given to one film's director, casting director and ensemble cast.Marriage Story

  • Director: Noah Baumbach
  • Casting Directors: Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler
  • Ensemble Cast: Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever
Best Documentary
  • American Factory < WINNER
  • Apollo 11
  • For Sama
  • Honeyland
  • Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Best International Film
  • Invisible Life (Brazil)
  • Les Misérables (France)
  • Parasite (South Korea) < WINNER
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire (France)
  • Retablo (Peru)
  • The Souvenir (United Kingdom)
Bonnie Award
  • Marielle Heller
  • Kelly Reichardt < WINNER
  • Lulu Wang
Producers Award
  • Mollye Asher < WINNER
  • Krista Parris
  • Ryan Zacarias
Someone to Watch Award
  • Rashaad Ernesto Green - Premature < WINNER
  • Ash Mayfair - The Third Wife
  • Joe Talbot - The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Truer Than Fiction Award
  • Khalik Allah - Black Mother
  • Davy Rothbart - 17 Blocks
  • Nadia Shihab - Jaddoland < WINNER
  • Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside - América

About the Author

Matt Lissauer

Matt Lissauer

Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.

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